Hot Cities | Link TV
The world's biggest cities are victims of climate change. There are real economic and social impacts as climate refugees swell urban populations, food and water supplies are threatened, and sea levels rise. "Hot Cities" travels the world from Lagos to Shanghai to see if our cites can adapt and survive.
The impact of climate change on the spread of disease and the affect on world health could be dramatic. In poorer countries the chances of catching a life-threatening disease could certainly increase. In Jakarta, according to the city’s health experts, climate change means the rainy season is lasting longer. And that means disease-carrying mosquitoes continue to thrive in places where previously they could not survive. The disease in this case is dengue – for which there is no cure. Worldwide an estimated 100 million people are infected with dengue every year.
Bangladesh is one of the countries most seriously affected by climate change. It is constantly battered by cyclones, coastal surges, overflowing rivers and violent downpours. Climate refugees from across the country are pouring into the capital, Dhaka. How can this intense pressure on the country’s capital be eased?
Water supplies and security will be one of the most pressing issues as the world faces the challenge of climate change. If average global temperatures rise by only a few degrees most of the world’s glaciers will all but disappear, leading to floods and severe water shortages for millions of people. “Hot Cities” goes to Lima in Peru, one of the driest cities in the world but a city which relies heavily on the water from three rivers fed by glacial melt. As the city swells in size the demands on the water supply are increasing.
Half the world’s population face severe food shortages by the end of the century as climate change takes its toll on the global harvest. In some countries riots have broken out in protest at the lack of food. Senegal is one of them, a country where the one of the government’s biggest challenges is making sure there is enough food to go round. Drought in the Sahal region, which runs through Senegal, means many climate migrants are flocking to the capital, Dakar, to find work to feed their families.
Violent changes in weather are one of the most dramatic features of climate change. In the Caribbean surviving massive storms during the hurricane season is part of everyday life. “Hot Cities” goes to Cuba, which has a well-rehearsed defense strategy and an effective early warning system at the Cuban National Forecasting Centre. The head of the centre, Dr Jose Ruberia – something of a hero in Cuba has been monitoring the storms for decades.